The Rain

By Anthony L. MacFarland

The Rain
(c) 1997 by Anthony Lee MacFarland

Two billion people stood out in the rain with no hats, newspapers or
umbrellas to cover their heads, they were all praying to catch the
common cold today.
Only one white, well-dressed man, stood under a bus stop shelter, reading the last article in Time with the wilted face of Ted Kennedy on the cover, which described the artificial toying of an adenovirus strain that could wipe out malignant tumors. His face wore a heavy sadness and the water drops beneath his eyes weren't caused by the rain.
The man closed the magazine and stepped in front of the Falls Church bus and splattered across Lee Highway.
“Shit!” shouted the bus driver and all the soak and wet passengers sat silent with dropped jaws planted firmly on their faces.
The man bled and bled and bled.
A pool of blood formed around the man and seeped red all over
The bus driver, passengers, nor the bus, moved to see if they could help the bleeding man who had glossy golden eyes, wet dark brown hair, a thousand dollar Pierre Cardan beige suit, and a real Rolex that still kept good time. In his open right palm was an expensive woman’s diamond pendant with the name Katy engraved into it.
A minute went by and so did an elderly lady casually walking her
two-tone Corgie for its daily purge. Both were open-jawed, staring at
the dead man who was half exposed from under the six tons of metro steel
and two tons of citizen flesh.
“Isn’t that a pretty diamond pendant, Maxie?” said the lady to
her disproportionate-sized dog.
Blood-filled raindrops trickled down the injured man’s forehead,
between his open and unmoving eyes, and finally soaking into his
once-was-white collar; now crimson. The man did not move, breathe, gasp, or blink an eye, just lied there staring up at the charcoal sky on a dreary, wet, Monday morning.
Moving slowly, in the fast-traffic-lane, a blue and white Falls Church City police cruiser rolls past the bus and bleeding man. The officers looked with open-jaws and they did not flinch an eye; they never stopped, never looked backed, and kept on rolling towards the West end of town where the Sun had once set ten years ago.
Across the street, in front of a mini-mart, an old man stood in the rain without an umbrella but wore a red beanie with an embroidered
yellow Star of David patch on the front, and was eating a half-frozen
pork burrito, staring at the accident with open jaws, with food intact
and non-blinking eyes. A young black boy on a moto-cross bike passed by
him; staring at the old man and then stared at the injured man.
Back of the bus, a woman cried out, “I can’t take it anymore!”
A giant black cockroach had crawled up her red and white dress and frightened her and then taken motionless refuge under her chin. Her jaws
were open wide and she stared at a black man who sat across her, who was
staring back with open-jaws. Neither one blinked, breathed or moved,
both just thought about the giant black cockroach under her chin.
“Lee’s Corner, next stop!” yelled the bus driver.
The bus moved ahead forward with a thumping sound and then another thumping sound and then another thumping sound and then another thumping sound.
The passengers sat, stared out into the lazy, wet, and dreary town of Falls Church, Virginia and no one appeared to be in a talkative mood or brought up last night’s Redskin game, or asked directions on how to get to Springfield Mall. They all sat and stared and did not speak about the injured bleeding man that the bus had just ran over.
Several hours went by and the rain was still falling, and the body of the white man was in scattered little pieces all over Lee’s Highway, and in the gutter drains, and by the city sign postings, and in the mini-mart parking lot, and on the sidewalks by Lee Highway. The bloody pool no longer existed where the man had died, just the diamond pendent lying in the middle of the road and the cars passing over it without harming it.
Still standing, was the old man, with a yellow Star of David patch, with an open mouth of food, staring at the spot where the man was
drenched in his own blood and the rain. He just stood there, wondering,
and wondering, and wondering and wondering.
“Why are you standing here still?” said the young black boy on a
two-wheeler with yellow thick mags who was returning home from a soccer meet. The boy had been standing beside the old the man for several
hours and both had witnessed the accident. The old man did not answer the
The boy stared at the old man hard but the old man stared back just as hard , never saying a word to the boy, never breathing, then turned away from him and just stared at the spot where the man had died.
“Did you know him?” asked the boy.
Once again, he didn’t answer the boy.
The old man walked away from the boy, and the boy watched him cross the street to the spot where the man had died. The old man stood at the spot and looked all around, and cars went slowly by and some went around him to avoid him, and the passengers and drivers of those cars, stared at him and wondered why he just stood in the middle of the road, in the rain, just looking at them while they passed by.
The old man looked down at his feet and saw the diamond pendant, picked it up, and read the name inscribed; Katy.
“He should’ve stood out in the rain.” said the old man.